Wednesday, 30 November 2005 17:00

Ratzlaff named national autobody tech Mentor of the Year

Written by Autobody News staff
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Ron Ratzlaff is not your ordinary body technician. The 25-year veteran spends every morning checking with his team members to ensure they are clear on the day's objectives and have everything they need to meet goals at 911 Collision Centers. "Sometimes I feel more like a football coach than a body tech," said Ratzlaff. And so the day begins for this year's collision repair industry 2005 Mentor of the Year. 

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From left to right, Mark Claypool, president, Mentors at Work; Ron Ratzlaff, senior technican, 911 Collision Centers, Mentor of the Year 2005; Michael Quinn, president, 911 Collision Centers.

The Mentor of the Year award is presented yearly at NACE to the individual who has shown exceptional skill and prowess in teaching and training new technician talent for the collision repair industry.

Ratzlaff enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with the next generation of technicians. "Long ago I was mentored back in Oklahoma, and now it's my turn. I just never imagined I would help so many young people." Ratzlaff manages the company's metal department teams to ensure the five locations will meet customer and insurer expectations for today and into the future.

Ellery Pettit, a technician who has worked with Ratzlaff for almost two years, stated, "Ron makes it very clear what is important and always takes the time to answer my questions. In just two years I've learned so much from him. It would have probably taken me five years or more on my own to get this far. I also like the way Ron approaches a problem, and I'll use his approach when I work with my own team."

Matthew O'Neill, field operations manager of 911 Collision Cen-ters, further stated, "Ron is very patient and committed to making a difference with these young guys. When we decided to implement teams to ensure our future staffing, Ron was the first person who came to mind. He is an excellent craftsman who is understanding but can be strong when necessary."

"It's very difficult to train younger people; they can be immature. Ron has shown tremendous patience when it comes to their attendance. He understands when uncontrollable issues arise and employees may need time off, but he doesn't tolerate unexcused absences. He's teaching these people about responsibility and how a bad decision can be costly," said Marea Turnbull, 911's Human Resource Director.

"It makes me proud to see these people move forward, to know that I have helped shape their future. I'm proud of them all!" said Ron. Well, for today Ron and his team at 911 Collision are winners. His record intact, the "coach" goes home and readies himself for yet another day on the field.


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